There has been a buzz among Bermuda food lovers since May 27th 2015, when Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Marcus', opened at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club. Based on our recent Marcus’ experience, the buzz is sure NOT to quiet down anytime soon. To sum up our visit quite simply: from now on, this is the only food we want to eat.
The restaurant is located in what was formerly the Gazebo Lounge. The designers of this restaurant have created a space which renders the former banquet and entertainment hub all but a distant memory. Gone is the gaudy, colourful carpet and heavy window drapery, somewhat standard in Bermuda hotels over the years. They’ve now been replaced with a chic mixture of contemporary materials - wood, leather, glass and metal, accented with dramatic lighting and modern artwork from the Green family’s personal collection. The atmosphere temporarily takes you to a restaurant you’d find in the midst of your favourite metropolitan city, if not for the views seen through the light airy windows that wrap the restaurant, providing panoramic vistas of the Hamilton Harbour and the manicured walkways of the Princess Hotel.
When you enter the space, the combination of:
We started with cocktails (so often the beginning of a good night).
We chose two Hurrycanes made with Dark rum, passionfruit, lemon and topped with a basil leaf, essentially a sweet yet tart cocktail with a mild jolt to it and a sweet and spicy Princess Mule, full of gingery kick (from housemade ginger beer) and served in a copper mug. Once we had admired our drinks sufficiently, we toasted to the start of not only this website, but to what would be an unforgettable meal.
Our Menu Strategy
Wanting to do something different than the traditional meal of an appetizer, entrée and dessert, and with three of us ordering, (two of us there for our first time), we decided that the best way to experience as much of the menu as possible would be to enjoy a night of shared small plates. All told, we ended up ordering 11 small plates to share from the Snacks, Raw, Appetizer and Sides sections of the menu, skipping the Main Course section (obviously leaving us with an excuse to come back…(as if we really needed one).
So here is how it went.....
And if that wasn’t enough, Executive Chef Leo Marino stopped by our table with what can only be described as a simply beautiful creation (simple in its preparation and presentation, beautiful in the flavour) of Yuzu-marinated, (more of that amazingly fresh) Rainbow Runner, topped with lemon zest, shaved ramps and parsley, served on a crispy lavash.
Whew…that was such a foodie description. Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit. Ramps (which were also featured in the Pot of Fresh Bermuda Vegetables), are a variety of wild onion. And lavash is an unleavened crispy flatbread.
But just look.
After devouring that feast, which (to recap) equated to:
The restaurant is a mixture of so many things. During the course of the night we saw young, old and in between. Post-happy hour co-workers, couples, friends and guests to our shores, all enjoying a wonderful meal and a great night out.
Marcus' is great for a date, although the inside is not necessarily the most romantic spot...the busy hum and buzz of activity aren’t exactly conducive to whispering sweet nothings across the table. Awesome for a group of friends who may want to emulate our approach with the shared plates, which is such a fun and social way to eat. Or simply stop by for a glass of wine and two small plates on your own or with a friend. We're going back to tackle that Main Course menu soon, and we know we won't be disappointed.
Thursday night bonus? Live reggae music by local band The Kings from 9:00 p.m. onwards.